Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stuck in a Writer's Rut

I've been stuck. It's no secret. My friends know it. My writer's group knows it. My family knows it. They ALL wish I would get unstuck. Especially my family. 

"Maybe you really don't want to finish the novel," said one of my very dear writing friends. 
"Maybe you're afraid to face the editing," says another. 
"Just do it!" says my husband. "Please."

Well. I have news. I crawled out of the hole last night and began the trek again. What did I do? I'm working backwards. Yup. Backwards. I've always been a linear writer. I write the beginning and the end, then I go back to the beginning and work straight through. I don't know why this is working for me, but I'm grateful. It's a relief to get the words on the page. I have less than 15 pages to finish this first draft. Hopefully I'll be finished by midnight Friday... just in time for NaNoWriMo!

What do you do to get unstuck? Just curious...

Addendum: Arrrrrrgggggg!!! I just opened my manuscript document and my work from last night isn't there!!!!! I saved. I KNOW I did!!     really, i did...   really      (whimper...sniff)


7 comments:

Brenda said...

Oh Nora...I'm so sorry...I hope you find your work...my fingers are crossed that you do...

As for what I do when I'm in a rut...I eat chocolate...grin...

I actually have a story that I have been trying to finish for about 2 years now...Hubs bugs me about it all the time...there is just something about the last few chapters that I can't seem to figure out...and it is driving me crazy!!!

Good luck with NaNo...and finding your work...Hugs...

Jacqui said...

NO!! That absolutely stinks.

When I am stuck, I write something ridiculous (zombie attack in the middle of a realistic YA..., just to get me going.

Kelly said...

If I am stuck, I work on something else then go back to it.
I hope you find your saved work! That's frustrating!

Brianna Caplan Sayres said...

So sorry to hear that Nora! I so hope you find it.

As for getting out of a rut, I find that hopping between projects works for me. That way, when I'm "goofing off", I'm actually working on something productive.

Getting feedback from my critique group can also been very helpful. I recently showed them a manuscript that had been stuck in the same place for years, and by the time I left our session, I had so many new ideas,I couldn't wait to get down to writing!

Angela said...

I'm stuck right now, trying to rewrite a first chapter with a big character change. It's hard--I know its for the best, but I just can't get behind the change! Gah! Hopefully some sleep will bring a change of heart and insight...good luck with Nano!

Nora MacFarlane said...

Thanks, All,
I wasn't able to recover Sunday's work on the manuscript, but since it was still fresh in my head I was able to recreate it. No ground lost and no ground gained.

I recruited a Nano participant! Check out R.A.M. Random Acts of Me-ness website (listed under blogs I visit). We're both telling ourselves there is no personal risk. no risk no risk no risk... (If I say it enough maybe I'll relax about Nano)

Rena said...

I hope you find your manuscript.

I've been in a rut too. I write mostly picture books though. I'm hoping NaNoWriMo will help break me out of that rut.